One of the most-used training tools in a swimmer’s bag, hand paddles are great for improving and tweaking your technique. But before you run out and buy a pair, you might be interested in doing a little research about how and when you should use them in your training. Read on for the most common and effective uses, and get swimming!
Hand paddles are lightweight tools great for improving and tweaking technique. Paddles increase water resistance and keep a swimmer’s hands in place as they pull, helping to build muscle and increase speed. Hand paddles can be used in drill work to improve technique, and are an easy way to add variety to a workout. BornToSwim hand paddles feature an ergonomic shape and silicone, adjustable finger straps to promote proper hand placement while remaining comfortable.
Most swimmers want to go straight for speed when working to improve their stroke, but speed won’t be of much use if you don’t have proper technique. Certain training equipment, such as hand paddles, can help you focus on different aspects of your stroke in order to improve your overall technique. Hand paddles, in particular, are great for working on wrist and elbow placement in your pull, both of which are key aspects of correct technique.
Just as paddles will help to accentuate the corrections you make to your stroke, they can also help you to identify where you’re doing something wrong. While swimming with hand paddles, you should be able to feel where your pull isn’t working and then focus in on those areas as you train and tweak your technique.
Paddles increase water resistance and keep your hands in place as you pull, helping to build muscle and increase speed. Many swimmers find that their muscle development can plateau without a change in their regular workouts. By switching up your routine and regularly incorporating paddle-assisted drills in your training, you will be able to start building arm and upper body strength where your typical workouts just weren’t cutting it.
Increase Speed and Efficiency
Using hand paddles in swim training has proven to yield longer swims, in terms of distance per stroke, as well as faster swims. One study showed that a group of female swimmers who used hand paddles to complete a series of 25-meter sprints recorded a significant increase in both swimming speed and distance-per-stroke. They noted that while their pulling phase took longer to execute with the paddles, but the speed of the recovery was unchanged. So while their arms moved slightly slower with the hand paddles, they were able to cover more water in less time. When swimming at an increased speed, swimmers are able to really get a feel for how they are most efficient in the water, and how they can recreate those results later in a race.
If nothing else, incorporating hand paddles in your workouts can add exciting variety. They can be used in drills, pull sets, sprints, and anything else you might normally swim during your regular workouts. Throwing paddles into the mix can shake up monotonous sets or long-distance swims, and help keep things fresh and exciting. New training tools can also give you the mental boost you might seek to stay motivated.
Like anything you add to your workouts, your hand paddles should serve a clear purpose in your training. Knowing when and how to use any piece of equipment is essential in ensuring your workouts are as efficient and effective as possible. If you’re looking to improve your stroke technique, build strength, increase your speed, or a new way to add variety to your workouts, adding a tool like hand paddles to your swim bag may be your next step! Click here to see what BornToSwim has to offer swimmers seeking training gear.